(Article changed on January 21, 2013 at 06:49)
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My lovely Japanese wife frequently asks me about gun ownership in America. In Japan, it's difficult, if not impossible, to buy a gun. So when there are incidents of gun violence in America __ and there have been many recently __ she understandably questions the prudence of having so many guns around.
I explain that written in the U.S.
Constitution __ specifically the Second Amendment __ is a clause which
protects the right of U.S. citizens to possess and use all sorts of guns
for a variety of commonly accepted purposes, hunting and self-defense
chief among them.
She has several times asked me, "Is it really that easy to buy a gun there?"
I came across this article: "Amazon ships assault rifle instead of television".
Apparently it's not only easy, it's actually difficult to not buy a gun. This guy just wanted a nicer screen to watch TV and movies and ended up with a full-blown assault weapon.
I got to thinking about the whole thing and came to a surprising conclusion. The rationale for having so many weapons at our itchy fingertips springs from the powerhouse argument contained in this pithy gem of philosophical analysis . . .
Guns don't kill people. People kill people!
Since this is irrefutable logic, I
began to wonder why it has been applied so narrowly. The truth is, guns
are just one form of lethal entertainment. Thanks to the amazing
advances in science and technology, there is a cornucopia of devices
which fit the legal definition of "arms" as referred to in our
Constitution. It seems to me, the legal framework and the rationale
would apply equally to nuclear weapons.
Now, narrow interpreters of the Bill of Rights might say: "There's nothing in there about the right to bear nuclear arms."
I say: "So what? There's nothing in there excluding them!"
Conservatives argue that government
should be about increasing the options of its citizenry, or at least
staying out of the way so that all of the options are on the table.
Normally, I'm not one to agree with people on the right end of the
political spectrum. Grudgingly I admit the wisdom of their arguments
here is just too overwhelming.
So let's go for it! After all . . .
Hand grenades don't kill people. People kill people!
Stinger missiles don't kill people. People kill people!
Cluster bombs don't kill people. People kill people!